Window to the West

photo of open window

Window to the West / Uinneag dhan Àird an Iar: Towards a redefinition of the visual within Gaelic Scotland

This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between the Visual Research Centre of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (University of Dundee) and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute). Its title is adapted from Sorley MacLean’s poem Hallaig: ‘Tha bùird is tàirnean air an uinneig / triomh ‘m faca mi an Aird an Iar’; ‘The window is nailed and boarded / through which I saw the West.’ Funded over five years (2005-2010) by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is driven by three strands of activity: rethinking of the history of visual art in the Highlands and Islands; the making of contemporary art in a Highland or Highland-related context; and the exploration of the visual in Gaelic language. The research team consists of a Dundee University group consisting of Murdo Macdonald, Will Maclean, Norman Shaw, Jane Cumberlidge, Don Addison and Lesley Lindsay (research fellow), closely supported by Arthur Watson. At Sabhal Mòr Ostaig the group consists of Norman Gillies, John Purser and Meg Bateman, with key support from the SMO development director, Donnie Munro. Based in Lewis is research advisor Finlay Macleod. The skills in this interdisciplinary group include Gaelic language and culture, contemporary art practice and history of art.

For further information please contact Murdo Macdonald or Lesley Lindsay: or

For further information about the project, please click here

An interview with MURDO MACDONALD, please visit:

Report of conference, please visit:

Art, Maps and Books: Visualising and Re-visualising the Highlands. Plenary Address: Lie of the Land Conference, University of Stirling, 26-30 July 2006.


The plenary address Art Maps and Books is well worth the read.


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